What’s Your Make-up Made Of?

Check this list to ensure that your personal care products don’t contain dangerous
By Stephanie Bloyd
August/September 2008


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Did you know that cosmetics and personal care products aren’t tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market? In fact, manufacturers are responsible for testing their own products for safety.

Unfortunately this means unsafe ingredients may be lurking in your favorite soap, shampoo or makeup. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 80 percent of the products they tested were contaminated with one or more substances linked to cancer and other health concerns. A recent EWG study of 15,000 cosmetics found that 22 percent of them were contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a probable human carcinogen, and a known animal carcinogen. 

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says many of these chemicals are easily absorbed into the body because they’re applied directly to your skin. And while the chemicals in any single product may not be a concern, repeated exposure from a variety of sources can be detrimental to your health. EWG has a searchable database called Skin Deep, to help consumers choose better, safer personal care products (the database also includes analysis of many natural and organic items).








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